49. Graham's Gunners reach Wembley

Michael Thomas celebrates his goal against Everton in 1988

Arsenal reach a second successive League Cup Final

After eight years without a major trophy, Arsenal fans were treated to successive League Cup Finals after George Graham was appointed as manager.

They clinched the first of these Final appearances with a pulsating victory at White Hart Lane in 1987. The following year, Highbury was the venue as Arsenal sealed another Semi-Final victory, this time against Everton.

A Quarter-Final exit in the FA Cup in 1987/88 - and a faltering title challenge - left the League Cup as Arsenal's most realistic hope of silverware.

Fortunately, the road to Wembley had been reasonably straightforward. Doncaster Rovers, Bournemouth and Stoke from the lower leagues proved no problem early in the competition and were all dispatched comfortably.

Sheffield Wednesday provided trickier opposition in the Quarter-Final, but they also succumbed to the Gunners superiority.

Everton in the Semi-Finals was expected to be a different story. The Toffees were a top side but Perry Groves' goal gave Arsenal a surprise first-leg victory at Goodison Park and put the Gunners in the driving seat.

And so to a glorious night at Highbury. Goals from Michael Thomas, David Rocastle and Alan Smith were enough to see Arsenal back to Wembley for the second season running, even though they did concede their first goal of the competition that night.

Unfortunately, Graham couldn't emulate the previous season. Instead the League Cup went to the underdogs again, Luton Town snatching a shock a 3-2 win.

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